To give an idea of what I mean (about the modern maze), there’s a revival of the play Copenhagen, about the meeting between Bohr and Heisenberg in 1941. Hovering over the action is the prospect of a Nazi nuclear bomb, and Heisenberg later pronounced “It was from September 1941 that we saw an open road ahead of us, leading to the atomic bomb.” The two physical colleagues – Bohr, a half-Jewish Dane, and the German Heisenberg – are convinced of the fact of the parallel reality of the sun. Proof: the mushroom cloud (Isaac Asimoc story Hell-fire.) I’m not saying the facts aren’t true, there are neverending facts, and the next thing you know you are trapped in CERN; all the facts are true for that parallel reality system. The system attracts people with a certain type of head that is good at processing data. Now you’re in an ego-trap. Reality can become a logical maze; the exact opposite to a city-state.
A city-state consists of classically disparate universes. One is order and one is freedom; one is action and one is routine. The two don’t mix; they can’t be studied as a logical system. A city-state is outside the head-based ego-trap; it is a labyrinth of contradictions. We who are living in a parallel world (or who will shortly be, thanks to the “Dysonsphere”, Dawkins, Bezos, Musk) find it increasingly hard to grasp the idea of city-life that is pure free action, no constraints, no rules, no regulations. Life that follows primal desires of food, sex, shelter, warmth, toil, dirt and cleanliness.
The half of a city that is free expression. I printed aways ago an extract from The Small Square by Pierre Gascard (And God Created), a place of ateliers, beasts and men and women in close proximity.
It was a black horse with a glossy coat, one of those half-breds the peasants used to harness to their wagons. It had just been shod, and the blacksmith was taking his tools into the forge when the horse set off towards the middle of the square without the blacksmith’s son, who had untied it, making a move to catch it.
The baker’s wife was running across the square. She saw the horse coming towards her. It was moving slowly with the clatter of its new shoes which made its progress more nervous. The woman took shelter in the coach-house. Probably associating the gloom inside the wide doors with a stable, the horse went up to it..
Then I saw the blacksmith’s son come forward. He didn’t run. He walked fairly quickly and a little stiffly, and his face had the strained look and the pallor of someone who has just hurt himself and is going to bleed any second. He went up to the horse and stayed there motionless staring at the baker’s wife. For her part she stared at him intently too. Several people in the sqaure were at their doors: they watched the situation in silence..
And suddenly, as if penetrating the deep shadow from which I was emerging, as if it was finally intended amid so many unnamed realities, something began to exist in my mind. I understood that everything that lived in that animal, the burden of strength, the whinnies as yet unleashed, the dream of a space freer than space, everything that was held in check was in this man and woman, who face to face stared at each other in silence.
What our leaders (from Mars) can never get their heads round is that this is life – as Liza Minnelli says (CH5) – life as it was in the old quarters of New York. Seediness, dirt and work tangled up together.
He was still stripped when he came into the square that day when everything seemed about to be settled. It was market day and carts blocked the square.. The shafts of the carts, sometimes tilted towards the sky, sometimes resting on the ground in a tangled mass, made up a scene which recalled sailing, without the sails, or a devastated forest .. Between the high varnished shafts the sky seemed to move more quickly. There were the bottoms of the carts too, where I could see above me the rough underside of the wood, like being in the hold of a ship.
Human desires are sinuous and sensuous, like the throat, the neck, the breast. Humans sing, dance or as social conventions of a court (the footloose expression of the great American musical).
In a city-state there are two universes and BWS, with his art-deco sensibility, gets this across nicely in the languid lines of arches and alleyways wending round established monuments of gold and ornate design
© Conan Properties
There is no such thing as pure order. It only exists in a parallel reality where basically everything becomes the same. Another way of saying it is that everything is a mirror image of something else
© Conan Properties
This is the state of nothingness into which we are descending, led by the likes of Dyson, for the reason they are all doing the same thing. Through their maze of logical mirrors (electromagnetism or batteries), everything is ordered by the same routine, a routine which is death to action-in-the-moment; the inner life of a city-state, a Neapolitan world of dingy quarters, florid arches, bilious puddles and barking dogs.
There are two universes and one is pure action in-the-moment. Anything else is death wrapped in advertising slogans. “They” are the obedient servants of the likes of Kharam Akkad because they have a high value of their own heads, the ego that likes certain facts that it can convince itself is reality.
Yet, it’s no more real than a maze of mirrors. The quanta of Bohr and Heisenberg are found because searched for in a maze of logical mirrors. These are the Kharam Akkads of our times. Isaac Asimov story Hell-fire could represent the ego that is drawn into a maze of reflections, facts that feed its own self-aggrandisement. They see their own ego, as the face of
© Conan Properties
Do you see what I'm saying? There are a neverending series of facts that fold in upon themselves - somewhat like the hermetic system of the alchemists, but without even the apothecary apology (Ben Jonson, The Alchemist). The ego is drawn into these facts, and the facts become representative of the grandiloquent ego, constantly being convinced by its own powers of logic!
Yet, all this takes place in a universe of infinitely reflecting mirrors, a universe of pure order - which doesn't exist. It's a sort of trap because the mind finds order very attractive. You know the way alcohol turns to acid over time (in air)? The reaction for that goes OH + O2 = COOH + H2O where –OH is an alcohol group, an oxidation reaction which is super-common (rust for eg)
The straightforwardness of that fools the mind into assuming everything must be logical, so is drawn into this universe of reflecting mirrors where, indeed, things are that way. "They" are continually viewing their own ego-bound calculations.
The real universe cannot possibly be logical because there is a freedom of expression in time. It reminds me of the Schuiten/Peeters bande dessinee of insane architecture (also Mr X)
La Fievre D’Urbicande, A Suivre #69 1983
Outside the deranged modern universes, the primeval labyrinth still exists (have no doubts!) Something that has an inner logic but is not necessarily easy to detect and has a certain uncertain, weaving line in time. How is it that deranged Martian tentacular heads have managed to gain sway over so much of this, our Earth Mother? I think it might go right back to Francis Bacon’s four Idols, Tales of Faith 10, especially the Idol of the Den (individual).
It’s possible Bacon realized the threat that a certain type of head would gain predominance; most people would tend to assume that such things as peer review keep a check on it so that research inclines to be unbiased. This reckons without the magnetic attraction of a maze that draws-in the ego by means of logic (see Faraday’s right-hand rule for electric-motors Hyborian Bridge 13) Inside the maze is this deranged ego, while outside are left the dark faerie of primal instinct. A truly demoniac recipe for mass confusion and psychoses.
Why? Because all the research is drawn to logic - which doesn’t exist in free expression, in the psychic strength of physical performance. Psychic strength is needed for content (meaning – epistemology), performance with power (ontology). Really, you only have to go back to1967 and Monterey Pop Festival to see how things have changed; this is human culture at work round about the Summer of Love in the midst of the burgeoning of free spirits.
There’s the stately grace of Quicksilver (Dino Valenti’s All I Ever Wanted); the surly jazz-band r&b of the amazing Laura Nyro; Big Brother and Janice hoofing with panache; The Mamas and Papas endearingly earthy. Racial/social cross-fertilization is everywhere
Best of all, the mikes and sound system are not exactly perfect which makes for a rough and raucous time. It’s so human you could weep with nostalgia – even though I wasn’t there. The rebellion had to fail because that sense of psychic delivery of physique and physical power is not what “they” want. It’s quite difficult for psychic content to get any truck in a logical system today, and pop acts such as Sandi Thom (of I Wish I was a Punk Rocker – with Flowers in my Hair) often go it alone with idiosyncratic content (as with Isobel Campbell). Psychedelic or naturalistic imagery.
Mainstream pop you tend to hear so far as I can make out has no such mental/spiritual content (that you get in Cat Stevens) and might as well be a machine with human heads. That is essentially what “they” want; content (psyche) is a threat to sameness. I know this may sound abstract, so here’s two photos from early 20th century, one of the country (a hop field), the other of a street.
Each of these has a psychic strength of individuality; it’s difficult to define, it’s just what you see and are aware of, like some old films. Someone who has an animal-like awareness of surroundings, who isn’t just a face with human features and the inevitable sameness of view. Psychic strength has to go hand in hand with physique because we are human animals. The body which has a psychic aura has a strong physical allure (I sometimes see this in comic books, even contemporary artists can bring that out in a character).
Artists will struggle to capture this because it is basically what the human journey is all about. What we get nowadays are a row of heads which are verbal but not physical, and in many ways the same, different races or sexes.
(see Cerberus Tales of Faith 11)
The artist will strive to have physical vigour because we are our physique, our bodies tell the human story; we are not just heads that are part of some larger machine (the Martian tentacles) Psychic content is displayed by poise and stance; it’s not rocket science, it’s the epistemology of action (meaning).
A row of heads does not have meaning. I’ll give you a for instance. Here’s a Burne-Jones painting called The Baleful Head, illustrating Perseus and Andromeda gazing at the slain Medusa through a pool’s reflection.
You see a row of heads reflected from the three above, and it’s all psychic content. The Physical and the psychic are merged there, in the reflections, in the allure. The physical world has content which merges with our psyche: this is exactly the world that “they” don’t want.
It’s often quite difficult to say what content is in the physical world which has no logical order, but has a definite allure. This photo of Samarcand and a baleful moon could illustrate one of Howard’s historical adventures.
This goes back to CL Moore’s quote (Hyborian Bridge 15,17) in that there is an ambiguous symmetry in nature. As humans we are symmetrical beings and have to defend the breed against Martian interlopers, the tentacle heads, the neverending sameness of view and speech. As far as I can gather, politicians are heads, so it doesn’t really matter if they are Macron (a liberal) or Salvini (a right-wing populist) or Trump or Netanyahu or Putin. They are not concerned with physical symmetries which are simple but true, only with this type of speech that could be fact or could be fiction – who knows? Who cares, in a disproportionate world of the human head.
That is why they are Martian interlopers. They speak a language that is death to psyche and the simple truths Man is heir to. A scene from Tros of Samothrace has him emerging from sleep and opening the door of the Briton’s lodge to a hazy morning of grey mist. Kneeling, he buries his head in the dew of the longgrass. That is the world lost to time that has meaning in the simplest of gestures.
The Book of Samothrace © BWS